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Feng Shui Fireplace Design

When you begin to dream of your home makeover projects for spring, you can’t overlook your fireplace. No matter what room your fireplace is in, it will be the focal point of the room. Your fireplace should be designed to compliment the room. Before designing your room around your fireplace or your fireplace around your room, you should consider what you want most in your new home design and fireplace facelift.

Purpose

What is the purpose of the room and the fireplace? Is the fireplace primarily for home heating, or is it for beauty and entertaining? You should decide between a traditional open fireplace or gas log set.

Cost

It will cost you some money to make changes to your home and fireplace, any changes. If you make a change to your fireplace your system will need a level 2 inspection before use to determine if it’s sound and ready to go.

Also, any updates to the fireplace or hearth itself will cost you, but you can offset the cost by choosing an efficient fireplace, insert, or stove. Many of the new technologies on the market today allow for the most efficient heat appliances. Highly efficient products save you in utilities, in fuel, and in maintenance and repairs.

Design

If you’re looking to Feng Shui your fireplace design, you’ll most likely want a contemporary look that can either accentuate the rest of your decor, or remain unassuming. Choose a new hearth, a complete fireplace insert, or even a custom door to add the necessary changes to complete your dream fireplace. Did you know that many fireplace faces have a variety of style and color options. Custom glass doors come in a variety of styles as well.

Color

An important element of Feng Shui is color. Find out what the colors of your room tell you? You can help Feng Shui your room by starting with your fireplace! By adding minute color elements to your fireplace, you can reach the affect desired in no time.

Calling the Professionals

Not sure where to start? When you call the fireplace experts at The Cozy Flame, you gain access to a variety of professionals with the training and experience to make your fireplace dreams come true. You can visit our Facebook photo gallery to see what Feng Shui options are right for you.

Call The Cozy Flame at 203-283-4459 or contact us online to start your fireplace make over today.

By Steve Sobczak | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Gas Fireplace Basics

Gas fireplaces continue to be extremely popular heat sources because of their ease of use, minor upkeep, and low cost to operate. And while most gas fireplaces will remain worry-free heating appliances for years to come, it is important for homeowners to understand the basics of gas fireplace maintenance.

Basics of Gas Fireplaces - Milford CT - The Cozy Flame

Cleaning your gas fireplace

While you may not need to shovel out ashes and soot after every use, gas fireplaces still need to be cleaned regularly. To prevent buildup around the components of the fireplace, gas fireplaces should be cleaned one to two times per year depending on use.

Cleaning the outside and inside of your gas fireplace is easy; however, there are still safety precautions to consider before cleaning your gas fireplace. First, make sure the gas has been completely turned off. Next, the fireplace should never be cleaned immediately after use; wait to clean until all the fireplace components are cool to the touch.

Exterior glass and metal panels can be wiped down using a damp cloth or glass cleaner daily to remove dust, smudges, or smears. Interior fireplace components can be gently cleaned using a clean, dry cloth or a clean soft-bristled paintbrush. When cleaning interior fireplace components, take care to ensure that no gas lines or valves are shifted, as even moving them a few millimeters can impact fireplace performance. Lastly, only specialized gas fireplace cleaners should be used on interior components; traditional cleaners can damage the fireplace or leave behind flammable residue.

Flue and vent maintenance

Many homeowners are surprised to learn that their gas fireplace still needs to have its chimney swept! However, flue and vent maintenance are an important part of keeping your gas fireplace operating safely and efficiently.

Similar to their wood-burning counterparts, gas fireplaces should have annual chimney sweepings and inspections; instead of removing soot and creosote, technicians will look for signs of acid erosion in the flue. This regular maintenance ensures that the fireplace is operating safely and efficiently and that there are no venting issues with the fireplace.

Common gas fireplace issues

One of the most common gas fireplace issues is incomplete combustion. Incomplete combustion typically occurs when a flue is improperly sized for its fireplace unit or the fireplace does not vent properly. When caused by an improperly sized flue, incomplete combustion can also cause water buildup in the flue; this moisture can have a corrosive effect on the flue lining and cause significant deterioration.

Venting problems can cause gasses or smoke to back up into your home. Because of this, it is important to call a certified chimney professional if you experience any of the following signs of venting problems:

  • Damp patches on interior walls or exterior walls
  • Peeling wallpaper
  • Blistered paint
  • Stains on the ceiling around the chimney
  • White stains on exterior masonry
  • Eroded mortar joints
  •  Crumbling bricks

Gas fireplaces are safe and efficient heating appliances for your home; while they may be easier to use then wood burning appliances, they still require regular maintenance to work their best. If you have questions about adding an efficient gas fireplace to your home, contact The Cozy Flame today!

The Best Backup Heating Source Choices

While snow and ice may create a winter wonderland outside, it can also wreak havoc on power lines. Because of this, severe winter storms are known for knocking out electricity – sometimes for days at a time. This gives families the difficult task of keeping their family’s warm when the power is out.

The easiest way to make sure your family will stay warm during a power outage is by using a backup heating source. While there are many different supplemental heat sources, some are better designed for use during a power outage than others.

The three best backup heating options

There are three heating appliances that give you the best chance of staying warm when the power goes out: wood inserts, wood stoves, and gas stoves.

Wood inserts: Wood inserts allow homeowners to enjoy the warm and ambiance of a crackling wood fire – without the extreme inefficiency and heat loss. Wood inserts can be installed on their own or into an existing hearth, making them an ideal choice for wood fireplace owners who want a more efficient heating appliance. The best backup heating source choices - Milford CT - The cozy flame

Wood stoves: Wood stoves aren’t just for log cabins – these stylish and efficient appliances can effectively heat a single room or an entire home. Available in a variety of sizes and styles, stoves can keep your home cozy and warm as long as there is firewood in the house.

Gas stoves: Gas stoves combine the heat output of a wood stove with the ease of use of a gas fireplace. This allows users to enjoy a roaring fire at the touch of the button as well as avoid going out into the cold or snow in search of more firewood in the middle of the night. In addition, many gas stoves are installed as direct vent appliances; this venting style is considered to be the safest in the industry and greatly reduces the chances of dangerous gasses such as carbon monoxide backing up in a home.

Three heat sources that won’t keep you warm in a power outage

Not all fireplaces or heating appliances are created equal, and some require electricity or do not burn efficiently enough to work well as an alternative heating source. The following are three heat sources that aren’t effective during a power outage.

Pellet stoves: While pellet stoves are extremely efficient and can create enough heat to warm an entire home, they also require electricity to operate. Unless you have a small supplemental generator, a pellet stove cannot operate when the power is off.

Gas fireplaces: Small gas fireplaces (not gas inserts) are usually designed to be more decorative than serve as an actual heat source. Because of this, they may not even generate enough heat to effectively heat the room they are in.

Open wood fireplaces: Traditional open wood or open hearth fireplaces might create roaring fires, but are extremely inefficient; open hearth fireplaces are about 10% efficient (at best), meaning that more than 90% of your heat is going straight up the chimney.

When the power goes out, make sure your family isn’t left out in the cold. Contact The Cozy Flame today to learn more about the best backup heating options for your home and family.

By Steve Sobczak | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Fireplace Safety Tips

Fireplace Safety Tips - Milford CT - The Cozy FlameGas fireplaces are a popular choice for many families because of their ease of use, low cost to operate, and cost savings and efficiency. In order to get the most use and enjoyment out of your fireplace, it is important to understand how to safely operate it. The following fireplace safety tips can help you get the most out of your gas fireplace.

1. Read the manual

One of the most important parts of fireplace safety is also the simplest – reading the manual. Because every fireplace unit is different, reading the manual can provide valuable safety information and operating instructions. Following the manufacturers instructions can not only help you get the most out of your fireplace, but it can help it last for years to come.

Likewise, being more familiar with your unit can help you if it malfunctions; check the manual before you call a fireplace repair company in case it is a problem you can fix yourself.

2. Keep children and pets away

While adults know not to touch the glass and metal of a gas fireplace, small children and pets may not know to be cautious. Because of this, thousands are injured each year from accidental fireplace burns. However, there are a number of ways to prevent these kinds of burns.

First, it is important to let anyone who may be in your home know that the glass and metal surrounding the fireplace are too hot to touch; even after the fireplace has been turned off, it can take several hours for the glass to cool down to room temperature. Next, a fireplace screen or screen door can be used to help keep little hands and paws away. Lastly, physical barriers such as baby gates are recommended to keep young children out of the room and away from the temptation of touching the fireplace.

In addition to preventing accidental burns, it is also important to make sure the fireplace cannot be accidentally turned on or off. Because so many children as enamored with the “magic” or turning the fire on and off with the press of a button, keeping the remote stored out of reach is an important way to make sure it is not being used without supervision. Likewise, child lock switches can be installed to prevent young children from turning on the fireplace.

3. Test alarms regularly

No matter what kind of fireplace you have, it is important to have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. While the vast majority of fireplaces will never malfunction or have safety problems, these alarms can help protect your family in the event of a fire or other problem. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be installed on every floor of the home as well as outside of sleeping areas; test alarms every six months to ensure they are still working properly. In order to make sure they are up to date with the most recent safety technology, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be replaced when they stop working or at least every 10 years.

Owning a fireplace can add warmth, charm, and character to your home while also serving as a heat source or decorative focal point. Contact The Cozy Flame today for more information on fireplace safety or installing a new gas fireplace in your home.

Identifying Your Fireplace

For many potential homebuyers, a fireplace is a major selling point in a home. In addition to providing heat and warmth in the winter, they give a room elegance and ambiance all year long. Without being a fireplace expert, however, it can be difficult to identify the type of fireplace you have in your home.

Identifying Your Fireplace - Milford CT - The Cozy FlameIdentifying the type of fireplace you own can be extremely useful, especially when it needs to be repaired or replaced. Being able to identify the type of fireplace you own can also save you valuable time when attempting to troubleshoot problems. Below are several of the most common types of fireplaces along with their identifying characteristics.

Gas Log Fireplace

Many homes have had their existing wood burning fireplaces retrofitted with gas logs. Gas logs replicate the look of a wood burning fire but with the ease of use of a gas appliance. Over time, the delicate logs may shift or become damaged while being cleaned or maintained. Likewise, you may want to update an older gas log to one with a more modern or realistic look. Replacing gas logs should be done professionally as even slight variations in placement can affect both safety and efficiency.

Direct Vent Fireplaces

Direct vent fireplaces do not use air from inside the home for the combustion process. Instead, they operate by bringing cold air in through the chimney and removing the byproducts of combustion the same way. Because of this, they can be used without opening windows and without risk of the backflow of smoke or gas into the home. Direct vent fireplaces also continue to work even when the power is off.

Fireplace Inserts

A fireplace insert is a self-contained system designed to burn more efficiently than traditional open hearths. Inserts can burn a variety of fuel sources including wood, gas, or pellets. If your home has an existing fireplace insert, it is important to check to make sure it is installed correctly. Improperly installed fireplace inserts can cause lingering smoky smells, excessive buildup of creosote in the chimney, and backdrafts from temperature differentials.

Finding the Make and Model

Whether your fireplace unit needs minor or major repairs, you will need to be able to identify the manufacturer, make, model, or serial number from your specific unit. Often, the easiest way to do this is by referencing the owner’s manual. If you cannot find the owner’s manual or it was not transferred between home owners, try looking for the fireplace’s identification plate or rating label. These identification tags are often found below or behind the fireplace’s lower louver, and can be seen by lowering the louver. Typically the identification tag will be stamped on the floor or attached to the gas line.

If you are unable to identify the type of fireplace in your home or cannot find its identification plate, contact The Cozy Flame. Our expert staff can help you identify the type of fireplace you have, as well as make recommendations for appropriate replacements.

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The Cozy Flame | 116 Research Dr. Suite Q, Milford, Connecticut 06460